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Poll

Does The test server work for you? Are you willing to sped time helping me test it?

It works for me.
- 6 (31.6%)
It does not work for me.
- 1 (5.3%)
I'd be willing to help test it.
- 6 (31.6%)
I'm not interested in testing it.
- 1 (5.3%)
I might be willing to help test it.
- 5 (26.3%)

Total Members Voted: 14


Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 42

Author Topic: Agora, A better forum (Open Source Project): Now with Github and test site.  (Read 48105 times)

GalenEvil

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Re: A more effective internet forum
« Reply #30 on: September 25, 2013, 11:39:48 pm »

PTW this sounds awesome and something I'd be interested in testing if not helping develop (no time at the moment).
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Angle

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Re: A more effective internet forum
« Reply #31 on: September 26, 2013, 12:57:10 am »

I don't mind setting up a little web service like this if anyone is interested. If anything it gives me something to do today.

That'd be cool, although we don't have any of it programmed yet.
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Anvilfolk

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Re: A more effective internet forum
« Reply #32 on: September 26, 2013, 09:36:34 am »

Killjoy: if we were to use SAA, that graph would always have to exist, so that's not a problem. I feel that doing away with the forum structure entirely would just make getting into a discussion almost impossible. I mean, look at how many posts are made here every minute! Plus, arguments would be micro-posts, so each post would actually count as several arguments/nodes in the graph. It would get out of hand really, really quickly.


Eagleon: yeah, what if we could take research papers from known websites, and each paper would be a node? I doubt it would be possible to effectively mine each individual paper for arguments, but even having a paper represented as a node would be enough to denote that a research paper contradicts some proposed point. That could work out really nicely as a basic system!

Virex

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Re: A more effective internet forum
« Reply #33 on: September 26, 2013, 11:31:19 am »


This does however give me an idea. Why not make sort of a discussion graph or web. You can't start a new discussion topic per se, but you can always derive discussions from other discussions. Meaning any topic discussion thread could be traversed back to the origin. The origin would be sort of a hello world, opting to discuss this type of fora or something.

What would be even more valuable would be if any new topic had to actually discuss the parent topics in some way or form. I doubt however that it is really possible to moderate and enforce such rules, even if a dataset with this rule would be extremely valuable.

Farming this graph would make for some very interesting data.

I don't mind setting up a little web service like this if anyone is interested. If anything it gives me something to do today.


You mean something that looks like a collaborative mind map?


Eagleon: yeah, what if we could take research papers from known websites, and each paper would be a node? I doubt it would be possible to effectively mine each individual paper for arguments, but even having a paper represented as a node would be enough to denote that a research paper contradicts some proposed point. That could work out really nicely as a basic system!


Web of Science already has an option to create a map of how papers are linked to each other. Remember however that a reference in a paper doesn't really mean that paper #2 actually addresses paper #1's points. For example, references are also used to show the state of the art (Bla Blason et al. synthesized poly(randomene) via a 6 step route and Bla Blabla et al. synthesized iso-poly(randomdiene) using a similar method).
« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 11:35:07 am by Virex »
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Eagleon

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Re: A more effective internet forum
« Reply #34 on: September 26, 2013, 12:19:19 pm »

Web of Science
Spoiler: derail (click to show/hide)
Putting prerequisites on my laptop to work on this today, should get some momentum going to have some prototypes available in that sense.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 12:46:29 pm by Eagleon »
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Angle

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Re: A more effective internet forum
« Reply #35 on: September 26, 2013, 01:06:08 pm »

I'm Planning on making all my stuff free and open source.
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Eagleon

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Re: A more effective internet forum
« Reply #36 on: September 26, 2013, 01:30:21 pm »

I'm Planning on making all my stuff free and open source.
Hey, if you can find a way to make money off of it (maybe by looking for some capital to hire a professional designer and web developer, and then licensing the framework you've made to the people that want to use it) I would encourage you to do so. Even as a non-profit, organizing this way can actually act to send an idea to the top if it's really good - example, Wikipedia, which relies entirely on donations, still has a well-paid staff because what they're doing is so appealing to everyone.

For my idea I plan to be focusing on rather specific engineering goals to generate things we can license, and that still leaves plenty of room to bring scientific literacy to people like myself. You still deserve to make a living off of what you do if you can do it well, the question is only do you want to do this (or anything else) for a living.
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Angle

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Re: A more effective internet forum
« Reply #37 on: September 26, 2013, 07:22:33 pm »

Alright, so I need to put together a proposal for a kickstarter. The way I see it, I need

1) Details on exactly what I'm trying to accomplish.

2) Background research. People who have done similar things, and the differences between what they've done and what I'll do.

3) Details on how I'll spend the money. Who I'll hire, what they'll do, etc.

You still deserve to make a living off of what you do if you can do it well, the question is only do you want to do this (or anything else) for a living.

I don't see any way to make a living off of just this project without undermining the purposes for which I do it.
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Eagleon

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Re: A more effective internet forum
« Reply #38 on: September 26, 2013, 11:12:35 pm »

I don't see any way to make a living off of just this project without undermining the purposes for which I do it.
Wikipedia isn't the only wiki out there now. Once upon a time there was no Wikipedia. They developed their idea as a charity splitting off from a business, seeking donations, grants, sponsorship, merchandising, etc, and they make enough from that to support their admittedly small staff with competitive salaries (or the appeal of maintaining it for less keeps their employees there - also possible) It's sparked hundreds of other similar systems, shaping and boosting interest for the internet as a source of information on a global scale.

(It's a little ironic I got all of this information from Wikipedia)

Not saying you have a Wiki-level concept on your hands with this project alone (I don't know either way, I think it's awesome), but it can only do you good to think about how you can feed yourself and help save the world, since those are the ideas that typically run the furthest.
---
Still working on my implementation. Are there libraries anyone else is familiar with that I could base the node/connection model on? Mostly to avoid confusion as it's inevitably ported away from Java.

Right now I'm working on the assumption that the data contained in each node is expected to be asked to split at any time into new nodes that are composed of more refined bits of content (for instance, part of a conversation splitting off because someone has specified that particular portion of it as a target for their argument), so I've made an abstract 'content' class that expects this to be implemented for whatever data it contains.

Nodes contain Content-type objects, the Content class is subclassed into things like Message and Hyperlink and Youtube objects, and those would be converted into references pointing to parts of a database or assets off-site. Later we can store in the connection objects how the parent and its child node are related, so that we can work that information into the UI.

I could introduce something strange from one of my own projects and handle connections as Content. That way you could point an argument at an argument in your interface, and it wouldn't break anything - just generate a new node between all three. If you're sufficiently boggled, think of each connection as a special type of node containing data pointing to and from two other nodes - now add one more connection pointing at it. You now have something like a transistor junction. I don't know how useful that would be for this, but  regardless, since everything is very abstract right now, it'd be easy to work out two or three versions with different features and topology.

Also, if all of this is alternately gibberish or clueless, I apologize - school is expensive :P
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Sensei

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Re: A more effective internet forum
« Reply #39 on: September 27, 2013, 03:26:02 am »

I've seen a forum that worked this way... while it didn't help that it was all in one narrow column of posts, putting replies to specific posts next to those posts made it nigh impossible to tell in what order the conversation happened without carefully scrutinizing each and every post date. Furthermore, it made it difficult to discern new posts from old posts without carefully reading each.
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Anvilfolk

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Re: A more effective internet forum
« Reply #40 on: September 27, 2013, 09:08:49 am »

I've seen a forum that worked this way... while it didn't help that it was all in one narrow column of posts, putting replies to specific posts next to those posts made it nigh impossible to tell in what order the conversation happened without carefully scrutinizing each and every post date. Furthermore, it made it difficult to discern new posts from old posts without carefully reading each.

Sounds like a kind of mailing list. I've seen those systems for tech support stuff and older websites. Not a big fan of it, and definitely an example of what to try to avoid, although a debate structure IS going to be very similar.

---

Eagleon: I wouldn't bother too much with content. I think people can warm up to the idea that they're no longer writing posts, but simply proposing small, indivisible arguments for a specific purpose (to add an attack to an argument they disagree with).

---

Alright, so I need to put together a proposal for a kickstarter. The way I see it, I need

1) Details on exactly what I'm trying to accomplish.

2) Background research. People who have done similar things, and the differences between what they've done and what I'll do.


Angle: I believe whether my research group ends up participating more directly or not, !!SCIENCE!! is meant to be used (for !!FUN!! ?), so I would again suggest you read our papers on the subject because they seem to be so close to what you want to achieve. Some of the theory can be easily adapted and fine-tuned to different purposes, but some of it can't. The articles also mention quite a few other similar systems, developed within academia or just plain websites, like www.debate.org. Either way, it's probably worth a read to help with both these questions.

I would just say this: most systems essentially let people vote on who they want to win. That's it. It's simple, and it uses the notion of crowd support, but it does not take into account the logic behind the debate. The system you're proposing has an underlying structure that represents logic that you can exploit to obtain results to debates. SAA gives you outcomes of debates that tell you the degree to which each and every argument is accepted. It's not just "side A wins and side B loses". Some arguments from A might be accepted, some might not, some might be accepted so-so... and this notion of acceptance is based on both crowd support and from applying logic to the debate's structure. It's not some random idea that comes from a random algorithm - we've studied it, understood how it behaves and proved a series of desirable properties (like there is always one solution, and there's at most one solution to the debate). No point in debating if everyone can always be right because there are infinite solutions.


Also, quite a few of the suggestions in this thread propose dividing arguments into types, attacks into types, and essentially trying to classify everything into its own little niche that interacts differently with all the other little niches. While this could definitely be interesting, and might ultimately be what you want, I would warn again that simple systems work best and are easier to use. Unless you can absolutely justify the need for them, by having a specific debate instance where that feature is needed to make sense of it, they will just add confusion to the mix.


3) Details on how I'll spend the money. Who I'll hire, what they'll do, etc.
This is very important. You need someone with qualifications that he has demonstrated. I would say that something as big as what you're envisioning can hardly be done by someone who is learning to code or has some basic notions. We're talking about something that, if done properly, COULD revolutionise the way people interact over the Internet. We're talking about a system that needs to support most platforms, from webforums, social networks, all the way down to apps on most mobile devices. Ideally, arguments could be shared between most of these systems.


You still deserve to make a living off of what you do if you can do it well, the question is only do you want to do this (or anything else) for a living.

I don't see any way to make a living off of just this project without undermining the purposes for which I do it.

I would say you'd want monetisation to be a side-effect of whatever this ends up, like Google making money off ads, but not really having things you can buy off them. I would really love to see something like this be free for use. If it's pay-to-use, you'll massively limit the potential userbase (almost the entire interwebs?).
« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 09:15:48 am by Anvilfolk »
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Eagleon

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Re: A more effective internet forum
« Reply #41 on: September 27, 2013, 10:12:44 am »

I'm not bothering at all with content (lower-case) at the moment. It's all abstract and generic to make it fit with whatever form of data the final implementation uses in its database. This is a template project, because like I said, I suspect that it will be ported into whatever language you do end up using. I know I wouldn't want to use a forum that required Java, no matter how fancy and brilliant.

It doesn't even store text - that would be done by a BoxNode with a TextContent subclass, or if there were a message title or something, a PostContent. Then you'd ask the PostContent to give your UI nicely formatted chunks of data. Did I mention that I hate UI work? I'm not the one you want to work on UI, haha. At the same time, it allows the advanced UI presentation this project needs rather painlessly (I think).

I needed to name the class something, the nodes in the system contain it, therefore Content. Data sounds just as arbitrary to me, particularly if Connections are going to be based off of that type to take advantage of the splitting behavior it implements, but maybe it's better because they also need to be outside of Nodes. Semantics, blah.

I need to make a simple demo project that uses it for full effect, but if anyone is interested in this weird little stub library that does nothing, I can upload what I've completed tonight. I'm not exactly a newbie, I've worked on my own projects doing my own thing for six years off and on (mostly off), but I haven't actually shown my work to anyone but my roommate outside of an intro-Java class way back when I started. I'm a bit nervous about that fact, hehe.
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Anvilfolk

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Re: A more effective internet forum
« Reply #42 on: September 27, 2013, 10:23:59 am »

GitHub might be a nice solution for that. Just make the code available? Although there's always the "problem" that you might get more contributors, heheheh :)

Angle

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Re: A more effective internet forum
« Reply #43 on: September 27, 2013, 11:34:18 am »

Yes, I read your paper, and I most certainly will end up using some of the stuff from it. The math on the voting system especially looks useful.

Also, what do you all think a good name for this project would be? I was thinking something Greek about discussion and debate.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 11:38:13 am by Angle »
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Eagleon

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Re: A more effective internet forum
« Reply #44 on: September 27, 2013, 12:10:22 pm »

What about Point? You're pointing at bits of things, and there's points, and geometry has points, which was invented by Plato probably *trollface*
(it's what I've been using for lack of something better)

Rather than double posting - was distracted by family and a potential business opportunity, haven't lost interest, just time crunch :/
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 10:57:38 am by Eagleon »
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